Muhammad Ali birth name Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr., was born on January 17, 1942, and died on June 3, 2016.
He was an American professional boxer.
The heavyweight champion of the world in the history of the sport has died.
At the start of his career, Ali was known for being an inspiring, controversial and polarizing figure both inside and outside the boxing ring.
Ali was one of the most recognized sports figures of the past 100 years, crowned “Sportsman of the Century” by Sports Illustrated and “Sports Personality of the Century” by the BBC.
Muhammad Ali also wrote several best-selling books about his career, including The Greatest: My Own Story and The Soul of a Butterfly.
Ali, known as Cassius Clay in his younger days, began training at 12 years old.
Ali won the world heavyweight championship from Sonny Liston in a stunning upset in 1964, at just 22 yrs old.
Just after that, Muhammad joined the Nation of Islam and changed his name.
Cassius Clay converted to Sunni Islam in 1975, and then to Sufism in 2005.
Only three years after winning the heavyweight title, in 1967 Ali refused to be conscripted into the U.S. military, citing his religious beliefs and opposition to American involvement in the Vietnam War.
Then Ali was eventually arrested and found guilty on draft evasion charges and stripped of his boxing title. He did not fight again for nearly four years—losing a time of peak performance in an athlete’s career.
His appeal went up to the Supreme Court of the United States where, in 1971, his conviction was overturned.
His actions as a conscientious objector to the war made him an icon for the larger counterculture generation.
Muhammad Ali remains the only three-time lineal world heavyweight champion; he won the title in 1964, 1974, and 1978.
From February 25, 1964 to September 19, 1964, Muhammad Ali reigned as the undisputed heavyweight boxing champion.
He was nicknamed “The Greatest”, Ali was involved in several historic boxing matches.
He was notable among these were the first Liston fight, three with rival Joe Frazier, and “The Rumble in the Jungle” with George Foreman, in which he regained titles he had been stripped of seven years earlier.
During that time when most fighters let their managers do the talking, Ali, inspired by professional wrestler “Gorgeous” George Wagner, thrived in—and indeed craved—the spotlight, where he was often alluring and outlandish.
Ali took charged of most of his press conferences and interviews, and spoke freely about issues unrelated to boxing.
Muhammed Ali changed the role and image of the African American athlete in America by his embrace of racial pride and his willingness to antagonize the white establishment in doing so.
Muhammad Ali died in Phoenix, Arizona of a lower respiratory tract infection.
Muhammad Ali passed away at 74 yrs old.